VCO Education Programs
History Notes: The Music of Washington's World

A collaboration with George Washington’s Mount Vernon 
and the Fairfax Network.

Students discover the music of Pre-Revolutionary America that reflects the Colonists’ growing revolt against the tyranny of England as well as the traditional songs of African slaves. They hear music written about George Washington as well as learn the music that George Washington would have heard on the battlefields and in the ballroom.

Our student hosts travel to such 18th century sites as Gadsby’s Tavern for an 18th century ball and a conversation with General Washington; Pohick Church to hear 18th century hymns sung by the West Potomac High School Colonial Singers; and Mount Vernon where the United States Army Old Guard demonstrates music as a form of communication on the battlefields of the American Revolution. The Virginia Chamber Orchestra performs concert music popular in Washington's time. Historians David Hildebrand and Larry Earl help students get a new understanding of 18th century America revealed through music.


Music in the Home
Slave Music 
Music for Worship


The Virginia Chamber Orchestra - Water Music by George Fredric Handel
David and Ginger Hildebrand 
The Colonial Singers from West Potomac High School 
Slave Songs performed by Larry Earl Jr., Christina Lane and Willie Wright
The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps


Lesson Plans by Debra Lindsay
(grades 4-7, adaptable for grade 8)

Lesson Plans
Lesson Materials
"Air" From Water Music Lesson

Lesson Plans by Cynthia Carlton
(grades 6-9, adaptable for grade 5)

Lesson Plans
Choral Score for Chester
Crossword Puzzle
Double Puzzle
JW Pepper